Sanchi kept out of grand Buddhist circuit in budget blueprint


Indian Finance minister Arun Jaitley delivered a huge shocker to Madhya Pradesh by eliminating world heritage site, Sanchi, from his flamboyant blueprint of developing the Buddhist circuit of Sarnath-Gaya-Varanasi into a global tourism hub.

Sanchi is a renowned Buddhist centre that attracts tourists from countries like Sri Lanka, Japan, Thailand, Korea and China among others.

The outgoing UPA government had allocated finances to Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation to develop a Buddhist circuit to promote tourism in the state.

But despite a BJP government at the Centre and in the state, this crucial heritage site was given short shrift.

Not just Congress-led UPA, but the state government too has prized itself on establishing Buddhist and Indic Studies University at Sanchi.

An official associated with the university said It is unthinkable that a Buddhist circuit would be developed in the country for tourism without Sanchi, which is one of the most important sites in the world and has structures with best of Buddhist architecture, including stupas, dating back to 3rd century BC.